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Kerry Says Peace Still Possible

While Netanyahu slams Abbas’ celebration of released prisoners as heroes

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sraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens as US Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement to the press before a meeting at the Prime Minister's Office on January 2, 2014 in Jerusalem. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

What’s John Kerry’s new year’s resolution? Mideast peace, it seems—and it’s a goal that the U.S. Secretary of State, currently on his tenth visit to Israel in the past year (hope he’s getting miles), insists is still possible. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, however, took this morning’s meeting with Kerry as an opportunity to blast Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for celebrating the 26 Palestinian prisoners released last week—many of whom were convicted murderers (see Liel Leibovitz’s moving tribute to their victims)—as heroes.

The AP reports:

Netanyahu greeted Kerry at the prime minister’s office and joked that it had been a long time since he’d seen him. But after the initial small talk, the Israeli leader took aim at Abbas. He claimed Abbas’ homecoming for Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails earlier this week had led more Israelis to wonder if the Palestinians seriously want to find a way to end the decades-long dispute.

“I know that you’re committed to peace,” Netanyahu told Kerry. “I know that I’m committed to peace, but unfortunately, given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace.”

So far 2014’s looking a lot like 2013…

Previous: Debating the Wisdom of the Gaza Disengagement

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Kerry Says Peace Still Possible

While Netanyahu slams Abbas’ celebration of released prisoners as heroes

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